We have seen many companies try to integrate their PIM system with an eCommerce platform and it seems to never be an easy process. Manually updating data on both sides is inefficient therefore some sort automatic of integration is ideal. The problem is that creating this integration never seems to go as planned.
Here are some of the major challenges we see when integrating a PIM and eCommerce platform.
The Data Models Are Not The Same
One platform may have a concept of product types, the other does not. Ultimately the two different systems have different data models so mapping the data to each system seems to always be a challenge because you have to find ways to map one type of data to another data model. So for instance if you have products in a PIM that do not have a product type value, you will have to find a way to set some sort of value for this and map it over appropriately to an eCommerce platform that likely will have different product types like variant, configurable, etc depending on the platform.
Large Data Sets Are Hard To Unify
Its very difficult to unify large data sets of thousands or hundreds of thousands of products. Each product may have a lot of data associated with it, and thus having that data continuously sync between two platforms is not easy.
Your Data Is Not As Good As You Think
Most people think they have all their data ready to go. Often times they need to fix or clean up data to map it to the other platform. As I said earlier, the data models are not the same, so you may need to have your data perfect plus the additional data to allow the data to be mapped since you need certain data points to tell the other system how to handle data models that the other system doesn’t have.
Syncing Images is not easy
Syncing large data sets and images is not easy. Images can be large files and the more images you have the more difficult this can be to sync.
Some features exist in one platform and not the other
Similar to the data model issue, some features may exist in one platform and not the other. That feature may cause issues when you sync data. If you don’t have systems in place for managing the features properly and then allowing the sync to handle the rest this can cause to major discrepancies or issues.
Trellis has worked hard to build an integration with Salsify and Magento to help solve this issue for two leading platforms. We will continue to be improving our integrations and offerings to make it easy for businesses to connect a PIM and eCommerce platform!